Mulching has many benefits, not the least of which, is that it makes your yard more asethicialy pleasing. Professor of Landscape Horticulture at Cornell University, Dr. Donald Rakow, believes the three major benefits of mulch are: the reduction of water losses from the soil, the suppression of weed growth, and the protection from soil temperature extremes.
1. Soil Moisture Retention- Research has shown that moisture evaporation from soil covered with mulch is reduced anywhere from 10 to 50 percent. Mulch acts like a trap door and keeps the soil from drying out. This is partly because it prevents dew and water from escaping, which both provide moisture to plants.
2. Weed Suppression- In order for mulch to suppress the growth of weeds, it must be a weed-free mulch. The mulch also must be put down in a deep enough layer in order to prevent existing weed seeds from thriving and growing. Ultimately, before you lay any mulch down, make sure you pull up any visible, existing weeds.
3. Soil Temperature- Living in New England, we are well aware of the varying (and extreme) temperatures that exist throughout the year. Mulch is insulation. It keeps the soil around your plants' roots cooler during the summer months and warmer during cooler times. When the ground is frozen, mulch works to prevent the soil from damaging the roots.
There are many other benefits to using mulch around your garden beds. The three mentioned above are the reason Moodscapes believes in mulching.